I. Principles of Miracles, P 7
7 Miracles are everyone’s right, but purification is necessary first.
I often ask the Holy Spirit to purify my thoughts. I will notice that I am thinking thoughts that are not thoughts I think with God and so I ask the Holy Spirit to purify them, that is, to take from those thoughts all that is not truth. Right now there is a tropical storm in the gulf and at the moment it is headed right to New Orleans. It is due to hit on the 29th which is exactly when Katrina made landfall. The timing is creepy and my mind has been filled with thoughts about this.
Here is what I am thinking that is true. There is a tropical storm in the gulf that might hit New Orleans tomorrow. When it does there will be high winds and heavy rainfall. That is the only thing that is actually happening right now. There is nothing in that thought to cause undo alarm or worry. It is something to keep an eye on is all.
Now here are the thoughts that have been in my mind off and on since Monday.
It has to be significant that this hurricane is predicted to make landfall on the anniversary of Katrina. (There are many, many thoughts that are triggered by that thought, and none of them are neutral to me.)
Even if it does not turn into a hurricane the rainfall itself is enough to cause huge problems, maybe even disaster in New Orleans. They cannot pump water out of the city fast enough to keep up with a heavy rain much less a hurricane. (New Orleans is practically an island sitting below sea level and its infrastructure is not up to date so things like the pumping system are inadequate)
The levees built to keep the gulf and Lake Pontchartrain out of the city are antiquated as well and have proven to be weak and inadequate. They could give way and the city would be underwater and everyone there killed. (My son is one of those people and that thought is enough to send me into panic mode.)
My son should leave right now, just in case. Something terrible is going to happen. I can’t stand the thought of the terror and panic that those who stayed would feel and in picturing this happening to my son I am able to vividly imagine this. I am helpless to influence the outcome and helpless to influence my son. I don’t want to be a fear monger, and I don’t want to teach fear, but I also want to do those things.
So which thoughts do you think are the thoughts I am thinking with God? Can you imagine God sitting around biting his nails, wishing He could influence people to panic and run? ~smile~ I don’t doubt that I am not the only one who has thoughts very similar to these right now, but that does not make them true thoughts. Could any of them happen in the story? Yes, they could. But no matter how dramatic and tragic the story becomes, it is still just a story. When things get tough I get to gauge my identification with the story.
There are two ways to experience these thoughts. The first is the way I have done in the past. I see the thoughts and believe them to one degree or another. The more I focus on these thoughts, the more likely they become. Eventually I feel compelled to act on them. Acting from fear is never a good idea and often when I have done so I regretted it. And acting from fear just increases fear and my belief in fear. I add to the ego.
The other way to experience these thoughts is to recognize them as ego thoughts and to give them to the Holy Spirit for purification. In doing this I am undoing the ego and adding to the Kingdom. I am teaching myself, and others through the example of my living fearlessly, that fear is not real.
As I allow the Holy Spirit to heal my mind, I realize that all the thoughts after the one fact of a tropical storm are just ego. As I focused on those thoughts I suffered, not from anything that is real, but from my thoughts about what is happening and when that’s not dramatic enough to hold my attention, the ego brings me thoughts about what could happen.
As the Holy Spirit purifies my thoughts my mind clears and becomes quiet. I am left with true thoughts and I remember that I am not living this story but observing this story. I watch the play with interest and I wait for instructions. Is there something for me to do? I won’t have to figure out what that should be, I will simply know.
The panic thoughts return again and again and I watch them, too. I know they do not originate with me, nor do they define me or in any way affect who I am. I am not a bad Course student because they appear in my mind. I am not dooming the Sonship to unending dreams of suffering because I notice these thoughts in my mind. It is my purpose, my job to notice them and to allow them to be healed in the mind. They are nothing. They are meaningless.
I watch as Myron feels drawn to them and I see how believing an untrue thought causes so much suffering. There is only one useful thing to do with these thoughts and so I give them to the Holy Spirit when I notice them, and I ask Him, once again, to purify them. I do this over and over again as often as I am aware of the thoughts. Each time I do this I am healing the entire Sonship. I am chipping away at the ego belief system.
It is important that the purification take place because without it, the fear that fills the mind blocks the awareness of Love’s presence. Choosing fear over love is the same as saying, “No miracles, please.” Miracles are our right, but they are never forced on us and we can say no if we prefer the drama of the story. Choosing to give these thoughts to the Holy Spirit and asking Him to purify the mind is how we say yes to miracles.